Welcome to Center for Natural Disaster Reduction Research and Education website

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When a natural disaster research and education organization of high quality exists in a region, the effect of disaster reduction and prevention increases. In the Chugoku region, including the San-in area at the Japan Sea side, disasters caused by earthquake, landslides, and floods occurs frequently and they have a great impact on the local society.
Natural disasters generally have their localized characteristics. In the Chugoku region, populations are distributed on the wide and gentle mountainous areas. This makes disaster reduction and prevention different when compared with those in big cities located on very large alluvial plain.
To carry out disaster reduction and prevention effectively, it is necessary and pertinent to establish an organization in the Chugoku region, especially in the San-in area, (in collaboration with) crossing different disciplines and organizations. In addition, through cooperation with residents, administrations and the mass media in the local communities, the newly established organization can make great contribution to reduce and prevent natural disasters in the local society. Under this background, the Natural Disaster Reduction Project Center was established in Shimane University on 28 December 2012, and finished in 31 March 2018. Through the activities in 5 years, a great achievement has been reached and the UNESCO Chair on Geoenvironment Disaster Reduction was established with the agreement between Audrey Azoulay, the Director-General of UNESCO, and Yasunao Hattori, the President of Shimane University, and the center was promoted as “Center for Natural Disaster Reduction Research and Education” on 1 April 2018, under the direct administration of Organization for Research and Academic Information, Shimane University.

Management and Administration Regime

Local experts on natural disasters will be invited to join the Management Committee to supervise the activity of the center.
A director (who also works as the secretary general, organizes emergency response to natural disaster sites, and handles the daily affairs of the center), deputy director, and heads of research and education departments manage the center.
To effectively make use of external research resources, such as disaster researchers in private companies, cooperate research system is introduced.

Director: Tetsuya SAKAI
Deputy-Director: Andreas AUER

Main Purposes and Activities

1) Conduct investigations, recordings, and research on natural disasters in Chugoku region, especially in the San-in area

● Set up a disaster database for the San-in area, and build a maintenance, management and viewing system.

2) Clarify the mechanism of disasters through cooperation with domestic and international experts on natural disasters

● Conduct disaster research not only locally, but also internationally. Organize international symposiums which form a core for information exchange system.

3) Launch a new education subject related to community disaster prevention for all university students, and conduct international education for disaster reduction and prevention

● Open field school for natural disaster learning, and research courses for international students, for the purpose to promote the activity of the UNESCO Chair on Geoenvironmental Disaster Reduction.

4) Cooperate with the local community and contribute to community disaster prevention

● Organize symposiums, seminars and field trips related to natural disasters for the local community, and increase the community’s resilience; conduct independent investigation and research on local disaster problems, and make propositions to local government.

Divisions and Members

1. Earthquake, Volcano and Tsunami Disaster Division

Research on historical disasters from earthquakes, volcanic activity, and tsunamis in the San-in region, based on sedimentological, paleontological and geochemical approaches.

Director: Hiroki HAYASHI (Associate Professor) Research on seismic geology and historical earthquakes in the San-in region
Hiroaki ISHIGA (Professor) Tsunami disasters around the world
Toshiaki IRIZUKI (Professor) Marine micropaleontology of tsunami deposits
Tetsuya SAKAI (Professor) Sedimentology of tsunami deposits
Andreas AUER (Lecturer) Volcanology; types of volcanic eruptions and related hazards; structures and field relationships of volcanic deposits, petrology of igneous and pyroclastic rocks.
Hideki MUKOYOSHI (Assistant Professor) Study of the distribution and evolution process of fault zones

2. Meteorology and Flood Disaster Division

The first aim of our study is to clarify the mechanisms of occurrence of heavy rainfall events in the San-in region, by investigation of records of heavy rainfall disasters in the area. The second aim is to prepare hazard maps for urban areas in the San-in region, for immediate evacuation in the hour of peril associated with heavy rainfall. The third aim is to solve problems of pollution in underground waters and in the water environment.

Director: Hiroshi Yajima (Professor) Maximum flooding prediction for Hiigata basin
Masayuki ISHII (Associate Professor) Disasters in hilly and mountainous areas and their reduction
Kiyoshi MASUMOTO (Associate Professor) Groundwater pollution due to mine drainage, aqueous environmental problems
Toyoshi SHIMOMAI (Associate Professor) Precipitation distribution based on official meteorological radar observation
Hirokazu SATO (Assistant Professor) Reduction of excessive flood damage

3. Landslide and Earthquake Resistance of Buildings Division

The mechanisms of landslides and other geo-disasters triggered by earthquakes and rainfall are studied in this division. The occurrence of landslide and geo-disasters mainly depends on geological conditions, and thus it is important to study the strength and deformation behavior of rock mass and soils.

Director: Kiichiro SAWADA (Professor) Seismic design of buildings, especially steel structures
Atsushi KAMEI (Professor) Granitoid petrogenesis, chemical analysis of weathered rocks
Yutaka NAKAMURA (Professor) Earthquake damage of buildings, research on seismic isolation and damping structure
Shunsuke ENDO (Associate Professor) Structural and petrological factors contributing to geo-disasters
Toshihide SHIBI (Assistant Professor) Deformation of soft ground, phenomena of liquefaction, failure of landslide dams, and other such research
Tetsuya KOGURE (Assistant Professor) Mechanism of landslides and surface failures, monitoring of slope deformation
Kazuhiro UENO (Assistant Professor) Study on the stability of embankment structure considering the history of earthquake motion

4. Research Division on Disaster-related Laws

We will pioneer a new law area called disaster-related law. The development of the disaster-related law is divided into three stages, 1) considering the measures against disasters and determining their responsibilities, 2) preparing for disasters and initiating crisis management, and 3) relieving disasters. In each stage we will seek the linked norm.

Director: Atsunori ISOMURA (Professor) Investigation of legal system concerning comprehensive operation of hardware and software for suppressing disasters caused by floods due to abnormal weather
Masanori NAGAMATSU (Associate Professor) Research on loss compensation and disaster-related land use regulation
Juji KAMURA (Associate Professor) Current status and issues of private insurance system concerning flood damage

5. Research Division on Disaster Medicine

It is important to develop a system to protect human lives in large-scale natural disasters. Human damage will be further expanded by the damage of the hospital itself that should provide health care. For this reason, it is necessary to prepare from time to time how to maintain the hospital function in 72 hours immediately after the accident. We have studied the challenges in disaster medical care, and are doing research to reduce “preventable disaster death”. In addition, because a nuclear power plant is located in our prefecture, we would like to develop a system that can provide nuclear disaster medical care so as to respond promptly to the emergency nuclear disaster and limit the human injury.

Director: Hiroaki WATANABE (Professor) DMAT activity in disaster medical care; hospital function in disaster medical care; system improvement in nuclear disaster medical care
Tomohiro MURONOI(Assistant Professor) Construct and dispatch an effective medical system at the time of disaster and improve its education

6. Disaster Prevention Education Division

This division aims to promote the ability of disaster prevention and reduction in local communities, through lectures, forums and discussions with residents about natural disasters. We also make international contributions by cultivating human resources through education to foreign students.

Director: Hiroaki ISHIGA (Professor) Construction of framework for international education on natural disasters
Ichiro MATSUMOTO (Professor) Enlightenment of disaster prevention consciousness, voluntary evacuation education for residents
Yoshihito FUNO (Assistant Professor) Research on building and strengthening voluntary disaster prevention organization

7. Cooperating Research Fellows and Researchers

Ikuo TASAKA (Emeritus Professor of Shimane University)


1. Disaster investigations in the Chugoku district, particularly the San-in area

The Center for Natural Disaster Reduction Research and Education (NDRRE) is striving to clarify the mechanisms by which disasters proceed, and carries out investigations of disasters when they occur in the whole neighborhood; such activities contribute to local disaster prevention. Furthermore, PCNDR is investigating past and present natural disasters in the San-in area, and is building a database of these events, and creating exhibits of such information.

2. Holding of the “San-in Disaster Prevention Forum”

Shimane University organizes the biannual “San-in Disaster Prevention Forum”, which is an opportunity for discussing the prevention and reduction of disaster in the San-in area. This forum is held in spring and autumn, with cooperation among industry, government, and academia.

3. International Organization Operation

Staffs in the center are also involved in the executive bureau of UNESCO Chair on Geoenvironmental Disaster Reduction, and the International Consortium on Geo-disaster Reduction (ICGdR). This consortium convenes a regular international conference, and publishes an international journal (Geoenvironmental Disasters) dedicated to the study and description of geoenvironmental disasters. This association with the ICGdR provides a valuable link for dissemination of the results of our project to an international audience.

4. Education of Disaster Prevention

Education in the prevention and reduction of natural disaster starts at Shimane University, in order to produce engineers with specialized knowledge and skills in these fields.

  • 島根大学法文学部
  • 島根大学教育学部
  • 島根大学大学院総合理工学研究科
  • 島根大学生物資源科学部・生物資源科学研究科
  • 国立大学法人島根大学
  • 島根大学COCプロジェクト
  • 内閣府
  • 国連自然災害軽減戦略